Southampton vs Manchester UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Aug 31, 2019, St Mary's
IF Manchester United could score from the spot then they would be reflecting on a pretty impressive start to the Premier League season.
But successive penalty misses from Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side dearly and washed away all the optimism that was generated by their 4-0 thumping of Chelsea on the opening day.
Two points were dropped after Pogba fluffed his lines at Molineux against Wolves while Rashford's miss was pivotal in the damaging 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace.
That has heaped the pressure back on to Solskjaer and he won't be relishing this trip to St Mary's, a ground United have struggled at in recent seasons.
In their last six visits to Southampton, United have won just three times and all of those victories were by a single goal. United are also without a win in five successive Premier League road trips and will be facing a side with their tails up after Saints recorded successive victories against Brighton and Fulham in the league and Carabao Cup.
Neither of those victories was particularly convincing though, with Southampton up against 10 men for most of the game at Brighton then scraping a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
I thought Saints would push on this season after Ralf Hasenhuttl saved them from relegation last term but the German doesn't look to have recruited well.
The only notable arrivals were Birmingham striker Che Adams and Standard Liege winger Moussa Djenepo, although Danny Ings' loan move from Liverpool was also turned into a permanent transfer.
But Southmapton's biggest problem last term was a leaky defence and the addition of just one defender, Kevin Danso on loan from Augsburg, doesn't bode well.
Saints have kept clean sheets in their last two games but I can't see them keeping United at bay. There have been over 2.5 goals in five of Southampton's last six home games so this should be another entertaining encounter. Over 2.5 goals is a generous evens with 888Sport here so I'll be sticking a few quid on that while over 3.5 strikes is 13/5 with the same firm.
United have lost plenty of firepower up front, with Alexis Sanchez joining Romelu Lukaku in moving to Inter Milan, so Solskjaer will be hoping Anthony Martial recovers from the injury he picked up last weekend.
In addition to his penalty pains, Solskjaer would have been dismayed to see keeper David de Gea at fault for Palace's late winner at Old Trafford.
The normally reliable Spaniard had a few howlers towards the end of last season and last weekend's blunder will dent his confidence further. Saints will try to test De Gea with a few pot shots so I like the look of the 5/2 William Hill offer on Ings having two or more shots on target.
United full-back Luke Shaw definitely misses out with his hamstring problem and that means Ashley Young will be playing left back.
Young has never convinced me as a defender so he will be glad that Southampton are missing their two most dangerous wingers, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo, through injury. The Mali international scored a cracking goal off the bench to seal the win at Brighton and his pace and power could have unsettled United while Redmond is always a bright spark.
Their absence makes me lean towards a United win, which is a best 113/100 with Marathonbet.
This English Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United will be played on Aug 31, 2019 and kick off at 12:30